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Politics Nation

News/Business. The Rev. Al Sharpton discusses the day's important political and human interest stories. New.

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Us 10, Paul Ryan 7, America 6, Washington 6, United States 5, Msnbc 5, Obama 4, Florida 4, Rick Scott 4, Angela 3, Mississippi 3, Boehner 3, Alabama 3, Nra 3, George Wallace 2, Colin Powell 2, Campbell 2, Scott 2, Martin Luther King 2, Dell 2,
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  MSNBC    Politics Nation    News/Business. The Rev. Al Sharpton discusses the  
   day's important political and human interest stories. New.  

    January 17, 2013
    3:00 - 4:00pm PST  

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let me finish tonight with this. i never stop wondering why people think drinking is actually too much -- it's actually a joke, drinking too much. how can something that ruins so many lives be the subject of such rich humor. i'm not saying that people aren't responsible for drinking too much, but at a certain point that can come early, a person is no longer in control. it's then that the person stops drinking or the drinking stops the person. and for good. the problem of addiction is not limited to the down and out. the richest and most glamorous of people are subject to it, sometimes more often because people born to privilege can get the idea that they're immune to dangers others face.
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telling jokes about it may have given us some laughs over the decades, but for every comedy, there's been more than one tragedy. getting this into our heads is a worthy go and i give christopher lawford many thanks for getting it into our heads. "politics nation" with al starp ton starts right now. >> thanks, chris. and thanks to you for tuning in. tonight's lead? republicans call for nullification? responding to president obama's gun safety ideas, conservatives are in a frenzy and they're reaching back to an old argument with an ugly history in this country. states' rights. >> our founding fathers were very concerned about having a separation of powers. they didn't want to let the president become a king. and i'm afraid that president obama may have this king complex sort of developing. and we're going to make sure that it doesn't happen.
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>> we will nullify anything the president does that smacks of legislation. >> nullify anything the president does? nullification? states' rights? state sovereignty? for many decades, these ideas was used to defend slavery. and, later, jim crow. in 1963, governor george wallace stood in the schoolhouse doorway at the university of alabama invoking states' rights to try to block integration. >> i stand here today as governor of this sovereign state and refuse to submit to illegal use of power by the central government and hereby denounce and forbid this illegal and unwarranted action by the central government. >> that was alabama governor george wallace 50 years ago. here's mississippi governor phil brian yesterday. >> we will not enforce any
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unconstitutional measure, edict, that's being issued by the president of the united states. we need to send a clear message to the federal government that we're not going to continue what we enforce what we believe to be unconstitutional laws. >> different issue, same words. states' rights. back in the 1950s and '60s, local police often stood by and refused to enforce new civil rights laws. now, some conservative sheriffs say they'll refuse to enforce new gun control laws from washington because they may consider them unconstitutional. today's conservatives aren't opposing the right of our children to go to school. but they are standing in the way of our children going to school safely. that's why president obama is proposing these strong, common sense solutions to gun violence. >> that most fundamental set of rights to life and liberty and
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the pursuit of happiness. fundamental rights that were denied to college stunts dents virginia tech and elementary school students in newtown and kids on street corners in chicago. those rights are at stake. we're responsible. >> we're all responsible for protecting our children and that's why change is going to happen. all that talk about states' rights couldn't stop progress 50 years ago. and he must make sure it doesn't stop progress today. joining me now is co-host of "the psych" here on msnbc. and chief for "mother jones" and an msnbc analyst. thank you both for joining me. >> sure thing. >> thank you. >> toure, we've heard this states right song and dance before, haven't we? >> i heard you talking about
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nullification? he's also talking about obama is not a king. well, if he's not a king, then you could nullify him. if he is a king, trying to be a king, then you can't nullify what a king is trying to do. what the previous gop name was trying to be a king. you can't have it both ways, one day say he's not leading us and the next day he's trying to be a king. what he put forward is very reasonable. he's not trying to take away everyone's guns. he's not trampling the second amendment. he's doing something very responsible that allows law-abiding, responsible gun owners to have their guns and protect themselves in their homes and create more safety for america. and he's done something that isn't worried about the political wins. he's doing what he thinks is right, what is the best policy. and i'm actually proud to see him stand up for what he thinks is the best policy and say we're not going to do the assault weapons ban. push them as far as you can. you know, the pro-gun right is lost to the democrats. so don't worry about them.
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we can still win elections without them. >> well, david, five states where gop lawmakers have introduced billed making it illegal to enforce president obama's new executive action and gun proposals, another example of states' rights and nullifications. the states of tennessee, wyoming, south carolina and north dakota. so here we are with a states' rights movement live and well in 2013. this is unreal. >> well, i don't think these guys truly understand the constitution. under the constitution, which they claimed to cherish, you know, it's not yahoo sheriffs who get to decide whether something is constitutional or not. it's something called the supreme court. so right away, they're undermining our entire system by issuing their edicts or their fiats against these actions. but i'm still waiting. i'm waiting for any of these guys to come out and say okay, 23 executive actions?
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which ones don't you like? the ones that make it easier for universal background checks to be -- to happen as they should be happening, just on the basis of regulations and guidances? what law -- which executive action -- which one are you opposed to? which one is turning barack obama into a king? these guys cannot deal with the specifics or the merits. >> but this has been consistent. because since president obama's been president, health care, they said we're not going to take it in our state, states' rights. immigration? states' rights. women? states' rights. they've gone all the way through since he's been president with threatening this states' rights stuff and they've done it again. maybe the reason that, as david points out, they're not the supreme court, maybe when the supreme court, under john roberts, sernl lycertainly no l said that health care was constitutional, they decided we better not talk about the supreme court. we better go another way, toure.
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>> i noticed that the nra and their people keep using obama as this selling tool. they keep putting him in magazines and acting like he wants to take away your guns so you have to buy as many guns as possible. he's only, to this point, been a friend to the nra and expanded where we can carry guns. but these have been the best-selling tool that they've ever had. >> if you look at if nra, they sent out a fund raising letter right after this started saying -- and i'm quoting from the letter, nra fund-raising letter today about president obama's supposed real goal on gun control. the letter says the main goal of the gun banners in congress is not to make school safer, but to ban your guns. and, david, they come with this, well, we need to have our guns in case the government comes in
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to take -- first of all, if the government came in to take our guns, do you think they're going to knock on the door and try to take it with an automatic weapon for automatic weapon? it would certainly be a lot more ammunition than an automatic weapon couldn't fight the government. so it's absurd on his face. >> you really haven't seen too many gun grabbers in the course of history say i support your rights to have a gun. i want to limit your access to certain guns and then confiscate all of the guns. this is crass exploitation of paranoia and conspiracy thinking that is being fuelled by the nra. and i talked about this last night on "the ed show." i am still waiting for any stand-up republican. michael steele kind of did that last night. but someone in an elected, leadership position, this is crazy. colin powell, great man in some ways, he doesn't count. i'm waiting for somebody in an elected leadership position to
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come out and say enough of this stuff. let's have a real debate about the policy. >> but that idea you talk about, all of these people who want to have guns just in case for that day when you have to fight against the government, remember waco, texas? they had that idea. how did that work out for them? >> but the point is, toure, not only did it not work out well in waco, we are talking about they're going to be shooting american soldiers and policemen. can you imagine if people on the left were saying we are arming ourselves in case of the police? >> and how is it -- this is a good, credible argument for them. we have to make sure that we are armed so we're going to overthrow the government. but that makes me say maybe we should do something about your guns. >> let me ask you this, david. when you look at this, david barton, was on glen beck telling us a story that supposedly happened in the 1850s about armed school kids. watch this.
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>> he comes into school with this gun to shoot the teacher. he decides not to shoot the teacher because all the kids pulled out their guns and said you kill the teacher, you die. there was no shooting because all the kids -- and we're talking elementary school. all the kids pulled their guns out and said we like our teacher. >> all the kids pulled their gun out in school. this is how fringe they've become. it's crazy. they're in a frenzy to sit up on television and talk like this is absolutely unthinkable. >> i'd like to see any evidence of that event happening other than in some "b" western movie like ronald reagan used to confuse movies with reality. whatever happened to the right wing, conservative notion of law and order? here you have these sheriffs and state legislatures around the country, certain red states, saying we will arrest federal
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law enforcement officers if they enforce the law. the people who sometimes put their lives on the line to protect us. and we're talking about in such disregard. this is what happened back in the '90s when the same crowd was talking about jack buddha thugs and it led, in some ways, toward oklahoma city. this could be heading towards frightening times with this sort of rhetoric. >> let me say this. this is the anniversary year of the march on washington, dr. martin luther king, who his holiday will be on monday when the president is inaugurated. in the famous speech he made, i have a dream, he referred to a governor whose lips drifts with the words of interposition and nullification. that is the words that we're hearing dripping from lips today. interposition and nullification. maybe when they said the president was trying to be a king, maybe they were talking about martin luther king. toure, david, thanks for your time tonight. and be sure to catch toure on
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"the cycle." coming up, it's day 2 of the big gop unity retreat. a time for change. new blood. but why in the world are republicans asking paul ryan for advice on beating president obama? and as the president surges in this second term, we have news tonight about the birther movement. and it might surprise you. plus, 50 years since civil rights leader medgar evers was murdered. his legacy is living on through his wife. and i counted the civil rights movement. evers has a big moment at the inauguration. she joins me live tonight. you're watching "politics nation," the place for politics, msnbc. [ male announcer ] when these come together,
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have you joined the "politics nation" conversation on facebook yet? we hope you will. today, our facebook family was celebrating birthdays. folks, we're wishing a happy 71st birthday to muhammad ali. adrian says happy birthday to the charp. a hero for his principle as well as his prowess as a fighter. the other big birthday? first lady michelle obama is 49. another michelle says happy bir birthday to a beautiful and inspiring person. and mario says 49? let's see the birth certificate. she looks more like 29.
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we've got two first lady surprises for a birthday to reveal later in the show. stick around. but, first, we want you to share your thoughts with us. please head over to facebook and search politics nation and like us to join the conversation that keeps going long after the show ends. ltima is a better car than camry. to argue would be rude. nissan altima. with moving-object detection. lease now. just $199 per month. visit choosenissan.com. road and track called sentra an economy car minus the look and feel of an economy car. wonder how civic and corolla look and feel about that. the all-new nissan sentra, with best-in-class mpg. lease for $169 per month. visit choosenissan.com. [ male announcer ] how do you turn an entrepreneur's dream... ♪ into a scooter that talks to the cloud? ♪ or turn 30-million artifacts...
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♪ into a high-tech masterpiece? ♪ whatever your business challenge, dell has the technology and services to help you solve it. we have fought our way back. and we know in our hearts, for the united states of america, the best is yet to come. >> the president told america
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the best is yet to come. and judging by his second-term agenda, his se's setting his si high. sweeping change to gun control. immigration reform. taking on climate change. cutting the deficit. and oh, yeah, lowering unemployment. make no mistake about it. it's ambitious. but the president is entering his second term with a job approval among the highest since the early months of his presidency. his favorability rating has jumped nine point ins the last three months. at the very same time, the other side is fractured. destroying themselves. they're even threatening impeachment over the issue. we want all tools available to use including impeachment. >> could that build up to make a case for possible impeachment.
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>> all options should be on the table, undoubtly. >> and if that weren't enough, they're back. that's right, the birther brigade is stronger than ever. 64% of americans think president obama is hiding important information about his early life. 64%. no wonder the gop is going off the deep end. and no wonder the president is looking better than ever joining me now, jonathan kapart. thanks for coming on the show tonight. >> 64% is questioned about the president's early life. how do you explain that? well, look. 64% questioning the president's early light. that could be the birthers, that
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could also be the folks who followed the line of donald trump who questions the president's academic performance who want to see the president's college transcripts to figure out how he got into columbia and how he was able to get into harvard law school. . look, i think the problem here is -- and the reason why the birther lie won't die and all of these other questions about the president's past won't die, it's because there's no grown-up within the republican party who will stand up and say consistently cut the nonsense. the president is legitimately the president of the united states. he is an american. he was born here. questions about his academic performance and asking for his college records are beneath him and beneath the office of the president of the united states. unfortunately, there's no one who will do that. not speaker john boehner, not mitch mcconnell, not everyone mitt romney who was the party for the presidency.
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>> now, jonathan, when you look at this, the birther movement hasn't gone anywhere. they're still going strong. there's been 100 court cases filed to prevent the inauguration ceremony monday siting obama's over-seas birth. and i wonder where that gop base got the idea from that the president wasn't born here. it certainly wasn't just don trump. look at this. >> no one's ever asked to see my birth certificate. they know that this is the place that we were born and raised. >> all i can tell you is ha the general consensus is that he has produced a birth certificate. the question is is it legitimate? >> this is the easiest problem to solve. all the president has to do is show it. >> so why is this important? because if you dehumanize the president, if you made him un-american, you've made him
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other, then you don't deal with him because he's not american, he's not really le jit. if you're constituents with that, you can't make a deal going forward. how do you make progress when you're trying to paint this picture with the president even when he's so overworked. ? >> i don't know. this speaks to a larger problem for the republican party. and, yes, the president is popular. you show the pugh polls. the washington post-abc news poll puts the president's top approval rating at 55%. the 39 is wildly popular. he was re-elected overwhelming -- >> he was re-elected with over 50% of the vote in a convincing and decisive way. what you have happening is that the republican party is continuing what seems to be its
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willingness to keep itself a reactionary, regional party that's not terribly interested in governing, but, instead, is more interested in doing battle with someone who they think is ill egitimate and is willing to contempla contemplate, entertain and even promote ideas that are, you know, lies, that are racist lies and that do nothing to solve the problems facing the country and certainly do nothing for the republican party's ability to convince people that they should be entrusted with governing. >> yeah, well, i think that's the problem. i think that they've painted themselves into a corner because here's a man that is very popular with all they threw at him, they were not able to bring down his numbers and not able to stop him from being re-e lengted at a wider margin than president bush. so now you've painted yourself in a corner where you've dehumanized somebody that is probably the most popular political human in the united states.
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jonathan capehart, thanks for coming on the show tonight. coming up, republicans tap paul ryan to lead them back to their winning ways. you know, paul ryan? the guy who lost in november? we'll go inside the gop's big unity conference tonight. but, first, governor rick scott did everything he could to suppress voters in florida. but, today, he's suppressing his own memory. this is one you need to hear. you're watching politics nation on msnbc. ♪
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we all know that voting in florida last november was a real mess. some people waited up to seven hours to cast ballots. some if line until after 1:00 a.m. and it took weeks to certify the results. most of the problem came from a new law that dramatically cut back early voting hours. well, governor rick scott doesn't want the blame. on tuesday, he said, "it was not my bill.
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we've got to make changes, i agree. the legislature passed it. i didn't have anything to do with passing it. nothing to do with passing it? really? well, somebody signed that law. here's the signature. on a letter telling the secretary of state to file it. this is all very suspicious. if rick scott didn't sign the law, than who did? was there a look alike going around florida pretending to be rick scott? or what about him? he's got the crafty, super villain smarts to get it done. or maybe it was somebody you'd never suspect. you know what? i'm pretty sure governor scot did sign that into law.
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after all, he thought it was just fine two days after the election. >> well, the right thing happened. so we did the right thing? what we're doing is the right thing. the right thing happened. so we did the right thing? >> the governor did not do the right thing. and the changes he wants now are too little, too late. scott says we should allow supervisors of elections the flexibility to offer anywhere between 8 and 14 days of early voting. flexibility to offer as little as eight days of early voting? which is what that republican law says now anyway. flexibility to determine whether they want more or less voting, depending on the distriblgt. florida needs real changes. and they should be statewide. did governor scott think we'd forget?
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it's day two of the republican party big retreat in williamsburg, virginia. a time for the party to unify, a time to bond, a time to come together and figure out their future. and i sure hope they're doing more than trust folds. a brand new nbc news poll just out shows 49% of americans have a negative view of the republican party. that's the worst negative rating for the gop since 2008. only 26% have a positive view of republicans. and 81% disapprove of the job congress is doing while just 14% approve. so who are the big headliners for change today? these guys. oh, yeah. a real beth of fresh air. speaker boehner, eric cantor and
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paul ryan. that's change you can believe in. and it was mr. ryan who was giving all kinds of advice today on how to battle president obama. this is the gop's fix-it guy? >> 70% of americans want the american dream. they believe in the american idea. only 30% want the welfare state. >> we don't want to turn this into a panic. that law is able-bodied people the ability to buy. >> i've always adopted the idea that the method of conception doesn't change the definition of life. >> this is the guy to fix their tarnished brand. they're lost. and they're freaked out about their future. the hill reports republicans where they'll lose the house to democrats if they botched the fiscal talks. so have a great time in williams burg. enjoy the bonding. but good luck when you get back to washington.
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maybe it's time for more than a little get away. >> joining me now, an msnbc contributor and a former director executive of the congressional black caucus. thanks to you both for being here tonight. >> thank you. >> thanks for having me, rev. >> maria and theresa, what do you see coming out of this gop retreat? >> they're having a kumbaya moment. no, it's how to communicate to minorities and women. if it was only a communications problem that they had and they'd actually have a shot to achieve it. but, fortunately, you showed it there. they lacked the shepherding saying that colin powell was trying to do. you need fundamental change. you can't do it in a two-day retreat. you need to scratch your head and said we actually have to create and actually diversify in
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order to break individuals with the changing landscape of america. i don't think they want to do that. i don't think they're prepared to do that. i think they're still under the impression that america was still back in the 19 50s. what we saw was the american voter voted for president obama overwhelmingly basically saying that they're defieing the changing face of america. >> paul ryan actually sounded like a voice of reason in the gop today. he advised republicans, and i'm quoting here, while we aspire to give the country a very specific and clear vision about what we think is the right way to go, the major big issues of the time, we have to do it at the same time, recognize the divided government moment that we have and the fiscal deadlines that are approaching. what those involve and then how we're going to proceed forward. i mean u it almost sounds like when he says recognize the divided government moment. is he telling them to back away
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from the debt ceiling fight? >> i don't know that he's telling them to back away. but i think he's certainly smart in observing the facts. we saw a really brutal fight for speaker boehner. we saw a failed plan b on the hill: and then you saw him scrambling to figure out how to get the votes to pass a fiscal cliff deal. so paul ryan recognizes the sign of the times and i think he's fleeing the far right of the party. it's certainly not going to work in this day and age. >> but angela, you worked the hill and were the head of the congressional black caucus. when they get back to d.c., the friends of their party will still be there. political reports gop leaders are authentically at a loss on how to control members who don't respond to the normal incentives of wanting to help party leaders or of avoiding situations like default. that could be a public relations
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nightmare. now, how do you deal with this? you've been in those rooms with congress people. how do they deal with the fringe groups that are marching to the beat of a different drum? >> i think paul ryan also said today that they're at risk of potentially losing the house. i think they need to have a come-to-jesus moment to say if we can't figure out a way to reach compromise, that is the reason why we're elected, that's why we're supposed to work with this personal president, we really have to come together and compromise. that is the only way forward. >> now, maria, the fringe is also in big trouble because their brand has been damaged. the new nbc poll shows favorable ratings for the tea party movement on a worst-ever recorded. 47% unfavorable, 23% favorable.
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so they may have some advantages in their home districts, but nationally, they're as unpopular as they've ever been. >> i guess that's the problem with jury manderring? do they care on a national level? talk about nobody having to reach term doubt. in the republican leadership, boehner tried to basically shake the tea party up but say we're going to take you off all of your chair map ships. what good did it do? he had to send pieces of the fiscal cliff legislation to the senate in order to get anything done. i thif what the real problem is, for the republican party, they are either a sunsetting party as they have them as gerrymandering districts, it's only going to last so long because they're going to infuse them with a pipeline will they're black, latino, women or asian. so in order for them not to be a dying party, they have to modernize. >> now, angela, as we go towards these fights, the fiscal fights
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and other issues that come up, you've got the president very popular and you've got them very unpopular. how does the president move the agenda forward when they still have the power to block some things in the house. >> i think we're seeing a new face of this president this term. you've already seen him step up in a major way with the debt ceiling. he's been clear on what he expects going forward. he was very clear about what he expects for the fiscal cliff negotiations and we've seen him dealing with the sandyhook kind of crisis with signing executive actions. i think the president is going to continue to do that and the republican party is just going to have to compromise. >> maria, theresa and angela,
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thank you both for your time tonight. >> thank you, reverend. >> coming up, two big birthday surprises. today, from the first lady, you'll want to see what everybody is talking about. but, first, 50 years ago, civil rights activists medgar evers was murdered in mississippi. his widow vowed to carry on his legacy. and on monday, she'll make history at president obama's inauguration. we are honored to have her join us live tonight. she's still the one for you -
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to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision, or if you have any allergic reactions such as rash, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, or difficulty breathing or swallowing, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about cialis for daily use and a 30-tablet free trial. the first lady celebrated her 49th birthday today with a couple of big surprises from all of us. first, it was a brand new twitter account. she already has a personal account @michelleobama. and then, later, in the day, she tweeted yet another surprise. unvailing a new haircut with bangs. she sure is looking great on her birthday. but then she always looks great. happy 49th, mrs. obama. i gave birth to my daughter on may 18th,
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50 years ago, 1963 was a historic year in the civil rights movement. it was a year of protest and sit-ins across the south. in mississippi, a young civil rights leader named medgar evers was a leader for change. after fighting in world war ii, he returned to the united states to fight for equality at home. >> for many of us who have gone overseas and fought for this country and faulgt for mississippi, we fought for alabama, we fought for north carolina, we fought for illinois and we faugt for every state in this union. >> he became the naacp first field representative for his home state of mississippi organizing protests against segregationists shop owners. >> i am the greatest. >> i'm going to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. >> and he became a tireless
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fighter for the right to vote, which we're still fighting for today. >> we're not just interested in voting so that conditions will be improved for negros. we want the conditions improved for everybody. >> evers knew he'd be a modern man because of his words. he taught his children how to flee bullet fire. but evers refused to turn away from his important work. on june 11th, 1963, he watched president kennedy deliver his civil rights speech from the oval office. >> the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened. >> later that night, as he returned home from watching the speech, evers was assassinated in the driveway of his home by a white supremist. evers was the first major civil rights leader at that time to give up his life for the movement.
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his death inspired many to join the fight and prompted president kennedy to sign the civil rights bill. inspired by her husband, merley evers became a civil rights icon in her own right. 16 hours after his death, she rallied hundreds in jackson, mississippi and vowed to make sure her husband's death would not be in vein. later she ran for congress, published books on civil rights and in 1995, she was elected chair of the board in the naacp. my national network honored her for her work. on monday, martin luther king day, the work of the evers family comes full circle. 50 years after a life devoted to civil rights, she'll deliver one of the highest honors, the invocation at the inauguration of our country's first black president.
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joining me now, merley evers-williams. it's an honor to have you with us tonight. >> thank you. it's my honor to be on your show, as well. i think so highly of you and all of your work and all that you're doing now and i'm very, very pleased. >> thank you. tell me, what does it mean to you to be a featured speaker at the second inauguration of the nation's first african american president. >> i have not been able to put those words into feelings yet. i'm so appreciative, so thankful. it's an honor that i never thought that i would even come close to receiving. at the march in washington, and i was scheduled to speak then, it was listed on the original program, i was in boston, could not get to washington, d.c. in time and missed that marvelous
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opportunity. and for years, i thought i'll never be able to do anything like that again. and here we are. 50 years later, i have been asked to deliver the invocation for president obama's second term as president of the united states. it's something that's difficult to explain. i'm simply honored. i am delighted. i feel even more of american now than i think i did when medgar was buried at arlington cemetery. i have hope for this country. i have hope for my own people. i'm a realist. and i certainly see things that need to be done. but we must continue to work to build up this country, to build up race relations, to bring up opportunities and to bring our young people and our elders,
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shall i say, together for a more perfect union. i never imagined that this would happen in my wildest dreams. and i am just very, very thankful. >> now, what do you think your husband would say if he were you? >> if he were me? >> if he were here today. >> oh, if he were here today. he probably would repeat to me something he said a couple of nights before his assassination. we were talking and i said medgar, i can't make it without you. i'm not strong enough. and he said you are. you must believe in yourself. you will be all right and you take care of my children. and i remember those words so clearly. i just think medgar would be very, very proud and he probably would smile, that wicked little smile that he had, and would say i told you so. i told you so.
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>> what do you want americans to know about medgar evers 1234 what do you think they should know? >> everything. everything that's possible about him to know. his commitment to his people. his commitment to his state. his inability to walk away from a fight. it might not be a physical one, but whatever he believed in, he was in it for the long haul. and it's something magical about that. to learn of his strategies. to learn of his fears and his hopes and his dreams and his movement forward. it's so critically important that we have heroes and heroins and young people can learn about and for those of us, at my age, now, we can still embrace them, what they stood for. medgar never, ever wanted glory.
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and i would tell him at times, you know, you need to promote yourself a little. and he said myrlie, that's not what i'm about. i'm about doing the job. >> you'll be the first layperson to give an innaug ral invocation. how did you find out? >> i received a call from one of the staff persons at the white house. and she simply told me that i had been chosen and i said certainly you just -- or, i did not believe it. but i quickly came to the realization that it was a possibility and that it was an honor that i will forever, forever cherish. but hoping that i would say the right words. it's only a limited time. you have about three minutes. and i tend to go on and on with
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my speeches and whatnot. i hope i don't bore people to death. but how do i say what i feel about my country? how do i say what i feel about medgar and all the civil rights leaders? how do i say how much i believe in the proclamation? how do i address all of those strong feelings. yet, be realistic about where we are today. and realize that even though there were so many who fought for the right to vote, all we have to do is to look back on what happened a couple of months ago. and all of those things that were done to make it difficult, particularly for minorities to register and vote. you know, we are past the point where we have to count the number of beans in a jar. we are passed the point where we have to work so hard to pay $3 for a poll tax receipt. but it sends a message to america that even though we have
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moved forward, be aware and guard your rights because there are different methods of disenfranchisement. >> well, i think when you walk on that stage and that platform, it symbolizes and personifies all of that. myrlie, congratulations on your honor. thank you for being you. half a century later, looking great and standing up for the dream of medgar evers. >> and thank you for you. >> we'll be right back. ♪
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